One measly tick changed our lives when it bit my husband and infected our lives.
While on vacation in Virginia to celebrate my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary, Dave discovered a tick in his waistband. Our response was anything but alarm because we are good midwesterners. We knew how to remove ticks; simply apply a hot match, and the sucker will back-out.
A month later, at my sister’s wedding reception dinner, Dave was suddenly as red as an explosive fire-poker. He flushed with a high fever, flamed with aching limbs and joints, and conceded to a killer headache.
Days later he did improve, but it was the unbeknownst, first indication. Months later, after describing Dave’s unpredictable health issues, a friend suggested he might have Lyme Disease. The doctor consulted the CDC for recommendations and prescribed two-weeks of doxycycline antibiotics. Instantly, his health improved, but the treatment was ineffective long-term. His unreliable health returned as quickly as Colorado weather changes and forecasted the tangled firestorm of Lyme.
Our bewildering journey has consisted of and been muddled by many doctors and many treatments, from holistic herbs to a spinal tap and medical IQ tests, to acupuncture and ozone-infused blood and bowel treatments, and others I cannot recall.
Through the storms I have learned many levels of acceptance.
My first acceptance was slowing-down because my exuberant energy exhausted him more when he felt listless, confused, and ill.
I’ve accepted it isn’t sensible to make plans because we will likely cancel, no matter the commitment.
I’ve accepted going to social events alone, usually explaining Dave’s latest conditions.
I’ve accepted I cannot sustain my current level of involvement in anything because I have to do everything. I’ve accepted a dirty house, dirty laundry, and dirty dishes; I’ve accepted duties and chores unfulfilled.
I’ve accepted some friends and family members do not understand; I’ve accepted their silence. I’ve accepted an isolated, lonely, solitary life.
I have accepted he may never be cured; I’ve accepted I live with a shell of the man I love and married.
I’ve accepted he tires of new treatments and sometimes doesn’t want to continue experiments.
I’ve accepted the unpredictable. I have accepted the constrictions.
I’ve accepted his long hours of sleeping; I have accepted the darkened quiet of our house.
I have uncomfortably adapted to unfitness, sadness, and depression.
I have reluctantly learned to live without expectations.
I have accepted I’m our lifeline, but without him I would not survive.
A Midwest native, Lara has lived in Colorado for over 20 years. She earned her Masters at CU Boulder and recently completed 18 post-graduate credits from CSU. She is in her 19th year of teaching English and currently teaches high school and college-level courses in a rural community. She and her husband Dave live on a ranchette in NW Colorado with their 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a menagerie of four-legged kids. She’s enjoys ranching, horseback riding, gardening, and cooking.